Friday Review: The Thief Trap (Cloak Games #1) by Jonathan Moeller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nadia Moran is a thief, and a very good one, at that. Her employer, an elven lord, keeps her in his service because Nadia’s younger brother is victim of a rare disease that only the elves can cure. And if Nadia doesn’t do what Morvillind wants, he will not give her brother the treatments he needs to survive. Now, Morvillind is sending Nadia after a particularly valuable magical artifact. Nadia goes after it thinking this is just another heist, but when she discovers a Shadowhunter after the same object, she begins to suspect there might be more to this than the other missions she’s been given. But even if there is, she has to complete it or her brother will die, and not even a Shadowhunter is going to stop her from preventing her brother’s death.

This was a pretty good book. It’s tight and contained, without a lot of side story or subplots, but it really doesn’t need it. The main story is well plotted and provides enough to keep you interested. It’s fast paced and there is a fair amount of action that helps move the story along. Characters are well-rounded and have some depth. The worldbuilding, while not extensive, fits the spare, tight writing and provides a good setting to the plot. Moeller’s writing style fits the contained nature of the plot and is tight and moves along well.

This is an urban fantasy, but at its heart, it’s a heist story, and a pretty good one. There are some tropes, but that’s true of any story of this type, and here, they are given depth and work with the plot without being too typecast. There is no real romance angle to this one as is seen in many urban fantasy tales, but that doesn’t mean the characters have no tension or emotion between them.

The Thief Trap is a good urban fantasy heist with interesting, robust characters and a fast moving plot that should satisfy fans of contemporary, gritty fantasy stories.

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